Category Archives: USPEA

Sydney Collier and Western Rose Place 7th in Grade 1B Individual at Rio Paralympics

Sydney Collier and Western Rose – photo by Lindsay Y. McCall.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – September 14, 2016 – The 2016 Rio Paralympic Equestrian competition continued Wednesday at the Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center with the Grade 1B division riding their Individual Championship Test for a chance at a medal. The youngest rider in the Rio Equestrian Paralympics, Sydney Collier of Ann Arbor, MI, and Wesley Dunham’s Western Rose improved on their Team Test placing ending up 7th with a 67.665%. Collier commented, “I am so happy and proud of my ride today. I can’t stop smiling. My mare Rosie was a superstar and we had a top 7 finish. Seeing my name up on the jumbotron made me so emotional and I can’t wait to see what amazing things I have coming up in my future. Overall it’s just an honor to be here in Rio competing with the best of the best and representing our country.”

Winning the Gold Medal in Grade Ib was Austria’s Pepo Puch riding Fontainenoir to a score of 75.103%. In Silver Medal position was Great Britain’s individual rider Lee Pearson riding Zion for a score of 74.103%. In the Bronze Medal position was Denmark’s Stinna Kaastrup riding Smarties to a score of 73.897%.

Thursday we have three riders riding for the individual championship – Rebecca Hart up first riding the Grade II test at 9:54 AM. In the Grade IA division we have at Margaret McIntosh at 3:23 PM and Roxanne Trunnell at 4:22 PM.

The 2016 Paralympic Equestrian Games continue at the Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center.

The Equestrian competition runs through September 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

For more information about the U.S. Paralympic Equestrian Team, please visit United States Equestrian Federation at www.USEF.org, the United States Equestrian Team Foundation at www.USET.org, or Team USA at www.teamusa.org/US-Paralympics/Sports/Equestrian.

For more information about the 2016 Paralympic Equestrian competition, please visit www.rio2016.com/en/paralympics/equestrian.

By: Eleanor R. Brimmer

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.

US Paralympic Equestrian Athletes Head to Florida for Mock Competition

Left to Right – Rebecca Hart, Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt, Sydney Collier, Margaret McIntosh, Annie Peavy, and Roxanne Trunnell. Photo courtesy Tina Wentz.

Weirsdale, FL – August 31, 2016 – In preparation for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, the United States Paralympic Equestrian squad has headed to the Grand Oaks Resort and Museum located in Weirsdale, FL for a mock competition. The Team includes Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt; Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Grade Ib, and Wesley Dunham’s Western Rose, a 2003 Oldenburg mare; Rebecca Hart (Wellington, Fla.), Grade II, and her own Schroeters Romani, a 2002 Danish Warmblood mare; Margaret McIntosh (Reading, Pa.), Grade Ia, and her own Rio Rio, a 2006 Rheinland Pfalz-Saar mare; Angela Peavy (Avon, Conn. and Wellington, Fla.), Grade III, and Heather Blitz and Rebecca Reno’s Lancelot Warrior, a 2002 Hanoverian gelding; and competing as an individual, Grade Ia rider Roxanne Trunnell (Rowlett, Texas) and Julia Handt’s 2005 Westphalian gelding Royal Dancer. These five outstanding athletes will showcase their talented horses on September 1, with their Test of Choice, beginning at 10 AM in front of 5* Judge Natalie Lamping.

Following the mock competition, riders and their team of veterinarians, grooms, parents, volunteers, and supporters will prepare to fly to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the 2016 Paralympics. Equestrian will make their way to the Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center where they will compete September 11-16.

For more information about the U.S. Paralympic Equestrian Team, please visit United States Equestrian Federation at www.USEF.org, the United States Equestrian Team Foundation at www.USET.org, or Team USA at www.teamusa.org/US-Paralympics/Sports/Equestrian.

For more information about the 2016 Paralympic Equestrian competition, please visit www.rio2016.com/en/paralympics/equestrian.

By: Lindsay Y. McCall

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.

Young Para-Equestrians Excel at 2016 United States Pony Club Qualifying Tetrathlon Rally

Photo: Andie Sue.

Livermore, Calif. – August 26, 2016 – Equestrians Andie Sue and Kaysie Li Roth from the Middle California Region in the Irons Pony Club in Livermore, Calif. excelled at the 2016 United States Pony Club Qualifying Tetrathlon Rally June 17-19, at the Graham Hill Showgrounds in Santa Cruz, Calif.  Andie Sue, born in Guangzhou, China, and adopted at 15 months old, had her leg amputated below the knee due to birth defects at two years of age, she is now 11. Kaysie Li was born in Suzhou, China, and adopted at nearly 6 years old; she is now 9. Kaysie Li had her left leg amputated below the knee. Both girls competed over the Rally weekend finishing with top results. The Tetrathlon Rally includes multiple phases of running, swimming, jumping, and shooting.

Andie Sue and horse Tam O’Shanter (Indiana Hoolihan x Moonrise Kee Ranchera), owned by Karen Davison and Sally Coleman, competed in the Pre-Novice group even though she is actually a 10U.  She achieved a perfect ride score of 1100 and earned a third place in the swim section for a final place of second overall for her age group. The Pre-Novice division is for 13 years and under and the rider must be a D-1 or above.  The four sections include a run, swim, jump, and shooting. The length of the run shall be 500 meters. The length of the swim shall be 50 yards/meters. The jumping height will be 2’3″ maximum. The shooting is 20 shots. Competitors must be standing and may shoot with two hands. Andie Sue joined Pony Club as an eight year old in 2013.  She has earned her D1, D2 and D3 traditional (Flat, cross country and show jumping) certifications and is studying to take her C1 traditional in October.  She also has earned her D1, D2 and D3 certifications in Western.

Kaysie Li rode Glitter Shadow (Townsend Triton X Fanny), owned by Karen Davison, in the 10 years and under age group. For this group the rider must be a D-1 or above. Kaysie Li has earned her D1 rating in English and Western and took her D2 test for Dressage in July. In the four phases Kaysie Li completed her first ever 50 yard swim, earned 3rd place in the ride phase and came in 4th place in her age group in the personal horse management inspection. The phases include a run of 500 meters, a swim of 50 yards, jumping height of 18 inches, and shooting 10 shots.

This rally followed the Pony Club rules and guidelines including no assistance during the rally. Their mom Barbara Roth noted, “The kids come away with such a sense of accomplishment knowing that they understand the right steps to take care of their own mount.”

Kaysie Li noted, “Last year I needed so much help. I couldn’t bridle or saddle or do anything. This year I was able to do all those things by myself.”

Both girls have come a long way in their riding. Barbara Roth explained, “Andie Sue started riding when she was 3 but she started riding independently at 5.  She had been amputated at 2.  After I could see that she was interested in riding I took her and her saddle with a saddle tree up to Shriners at Sacramento and asked her prosthetist to measure angles and fit until we came up with a riding prosthetic that would work for her.  Andie Sue was the one who figured out how to make the ankle work for her and her awesome prosthetist built it. Kaysie Li was adopted at 6 and had never seen an animal before.  The first time she saw our horses she was pretty surprised that we actually wanted her to get on that beast. She watched her sister for a while and we didn’t push it.  She had several surgeries so her riding was not consistent at first but she really liked it and I could see that everything about her changed when she was in the saddle.  She was confident and was building muscle and strength.  She literally felt like mush when we adopted her, no muscle tone at all, and now she is competently riding a 1000 pound horse in the show ring and smiling from ear to ear.”

Both girls will continue to train through the fall and compete at several shows. Andie Sue hopes to be eventing at the Novice level soon and Kaysie Li would like to compete in her first Dressage shows in the coming years.

By: Lindsay Y. McCall

To view an online version of this press release, please visit: http://uspea.org/category/recent-uspea-press-news/.

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.

USA Para Reining Event at 50th Annual All American Quarter Horse Congress Seeks Participants

Frederick Win participating at a Para Reining event at the AQHA World Championship Show. Photo by Lindsay Y. McCall.

Columbus, Ohio – August 21, 2016 – USA Para Reining event is looking for Para-Equestrians to participate in the USA Para Reining show at the 2016 All American Quarter Horse Congress October 9. In particular, the Para Reining event is looking for Grade Ia and Grade Ib Para Dressage riders who want to try their hand at reining, but if you are interested and are of any Grade please contact Frederick Win at attorneywin@gmail.com or call 609-992-5283. The horses are provided to participants along with coaches and support.  The 2016 All American Quarter Horse Congress is scheduled for October 6-30, at Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio. Para Reining will include four classes held in the Celeste center starting at 7 AM, October 9. The 50th Annual All American Quarter Horse Congress is run by the Ohio Quarter Horse Association. For more information, please visit www.quarterhorsecongress.com or visit the Ohio Quarter Horse Association at www.oqha.com.

Para Reining made its debut during the 2013 AQHA World Championship Show, and interest in the sport continues to grow, including a class at the 2014 World Show, a class at the Kentucky Reining Cup and the one at the NRHA Futurity.

For 2014, AQHA adopted para-reining rules in collaboration with USA Reining and NRHA. Those rules will be revised with the goal of making para-reining a nationally recognized sport in the future.

By: Lindsay Y. McCall

To view an online version of this press release, please visit: http://uspea.org/category/recent-uspea-press-news/.

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.

USPEA Acknowledges the 2016 Adequan/FEI NAJYRC Management Team

Photo (c) SusanJStickle.com.

Parker, Colorado – July 5, 2016 – With only weeks before the 2016 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships provided by Gotham North (NAJYRC) taking place at the Colorado Horse Park July 27-31, in Parker, Colorado, the Para-Equestrian Dressage Young Rider Team and Individual Championships were cancelled. Although there was a considerable number of United States athletes looking to make the trip to Colorado, following the close of the Nominate Entry, the FEI requirement of at least two National Federations represented with teams was not met in order to run the para-equestrian division of a Continental Championship. The USPEA would like to thank the NAJYRC show management, sponsors, supporters of our athletes, and show volunteers who worked hard to try and make the Para-Dressage competition happen. The NAJYRC is considered the Junior Olympics and is a 4* competition. In 2015, the U.S. Para-Dressage Team made history at the Inaugural Young Rider Para-Dressage competition when they dominated each of the three days.

Hope Hand of the USPEA commented, “We are very disappointed that we could not meet the criteria this year for many reasons beyond our control but we are thankful to the NAJYRC organizers for including us in this prestigious competition.”

Although the 2016 Para-Equestrian competition was cancelled, the Para-Dressage Young Riders look forward to participating in the NAJYRC in 2017.

By: Lindsay Y. McCall

To view an online version of this press release, please visit: http://uspea.org/category/recent-uspea-press-news/.

About United States Para-Equestrian Association:

The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation board members, and equestrian enthusiasts. The association gives athletes the ability to get involved and expand their knowledge and experience in the Para-Equestrian sport. The USPEA encourages para-athletes to participate in all disciplines under the para-equestrian umbrella.

The USPEA is a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) which serves as the National Governing Body for the equestrian sport. This relationship between the USPEA and USEF is to encourage para-equestrian competitors, leisure riders, coaches, fans and enthusiasts to network and get involved with the entire equestrian sport.

Ultimately the goal of the USPEA is to foster growth in the para-equestrian discipline. From growth in the number of participants to growth as a team, and growth in the experience and knowledge of all involved. From local horse shows to international Olympic Games, the USPEA will provide para-equestrians the knowledge of what they need to succeed. The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), and USEF which provides Para-Equestrians the top equestrian resources.

In June 2010, the USPEA earned its 501 (c)(3) status which has encouraged supporters to help supply funding to the Para-Equestrian Team as a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.

Sydney Collier and Western Rose Post Top Score at USEF Para-Dressage National Championships

Sydney Collier and Western Rose at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3* in 2016 in Wellington, Florida. Photo by Lindsay Y. McCall.

Roxanne Trunnell and Royal Dancer Maintain Lead

Grass Lake, Michigan – June 4, 2016 – Young rider Sydney Collier of Ann Arbor, Mich. posted a 73.678% in Grade Ib FEI Individual Test on Saturday, June 4, in the 2016 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships Sponsored by Deloitte and Selection Event for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Collier led the field with Western Rose, owned by Wes Dunham, in the High Performance National Championships. Grade Ia rider Roxanne Trunnell and Julia Handt’s Royal Dancer earned a 72.754% to maintain an overall lead over the two days of competition. In the National division, Pam Hardin (Grade III) and Quaterjack garnered the first place overall. The Waterloo Hunt Club show grounds in Grass Lake, Mich. has been the stage of excitement as riders and horses in Grade Ia, Ib, II, III, and IV give it their all as they aim for top positions in the National Championship with High Performance and National Divisions and the Paralympic Selection Trials. Each horse and rider combination will have one final chance on Sunday, June 5, in the FEI Freestyle competition to present their best tests for ground jury members Kristi Wysocki 4* (USA); Kathy Amos-Jacob 5* (FRA); and Carlos Lopes 5* (POR). After the Freestyle competition spectators will know the national champions from each division. The short list for the U.S. Paralympic Dressage Team representing the United States at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games will be announced at a later date by USEF. The Games are scheduled for September 11-16, 2016, at the Olympic Equestrian Centre in the Deodoro Olympic Park, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Contenders Collier and Trunnell are both aiming for a spot on the U.S. Paralympic Dressage Team. Collier is riding both qualified horses Western Rose and Wentworth in Grade Ib. “It’s incredible to be back in my home state and showing at a venue where I used to ride when I was first starting to ride para-dressage in 2010,” explained Collier. “It really feels like everything is coming full circle. It’s such an honor to be in contention for a possible spot on the U.S. Para-Dressage Team headed to Rio and to be showing alongside so many talented athletes. I am very proud of Wentworth and Western Rose. They have both looked and felt wonderful since we arrived in Michigan and really stepped up to everything we have asked of them in the training and show ring. I feel so lucky to have the privilege to ride and create such special bonds with both of them. I am so thankful to my trainer Wes Dunham, all my sponsors, as well as my amazing friends and family for their support along this journey. I couldn’t do any of this without each and every one of them. A huge thank you also to show management and Deloitte for organizing and sponsoring such a wonderful event as we pick a strong team to represent our country in Rio, but also grow and develop the sport of Para Dressage in the USA.”

Roxanne Trunnell noted, “Royal was a superstar again today. Despite having little connection inconstancies during the individual championship test we still pranced to the same exact score that we received yesterday (72.758%) and placed first in the class again. I’ve been working really hard on improving the freewalk at home and even though there are still improvements to be made, the overall movement is better. I would like to thank my trainer Kai Handt for taking the time out of his schedule to help train Royal and me. I would also like to thank the owners of the Waterloo Hunt Club for opening their facility up to the 2016 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships and Selection Event for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. There were golf carts provided to the para-dressage athletes so that they could get from the stable area to the arenas quickly. The arenas themselves were very well cared for and the staff was efficient in changing the long dressage court to the short dressage court very quickly. I’m not sure but I think this is the first time the Waterloo Hunt Club has opened its show grounds to Para-Equestrians and it ran quite smoothly for the first time this was done. Tomorrow is the freestyles and I’m very excited because we have totally changed the freestyle chorography and music since the 2016 Florida CPEDIs. I find the freestyle extremely fun especially since I came up with the music on my own, so it will be exciting to see what the amazing ground jury we are able to show under this year will think of it.”

Roxanne Trunnell and Royal Dancer. Photo by Erich Linder
Roxanne Trunnell and Royal Dancer. Photo by Erich Linder

The overall National Champions in each division will be determined by weighting the tests with the Team Test counting for 40%, Individual Test 40%, and Freestyle Test 20%. U.S. Paralympic Dressage Team selection rankings will be based on 50% of a combination’s overall performance in the Selection Event and 50% on the combined overall score from its best two CPEDI3* events taking place January 1, 2015 – May 16, 2016. The selection procedures also include discretionary criteria. All nominations to the 2016 U.S. Paralympic Dressage Team are subject to approval by the United States Olympic Committee and the USEF. The short list/FEI Nominated Entry for the U.S. Paralympic Dressage Team will be forwarded to the FEI by the United States Equestrian Federation by June 20, 2016. Equestrian competition at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games is scheduled for September 11-16, 2016, at the Olympic Equestrian Centre in the Deodoro Olympic Park, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

For more information about the Selection Event for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games/National Championship/Open National Show procedures, please visit https://www.usef.org/_IFrames/breedsdisciplines/discipline/allparaequestrian/hpparaEquestrian.aspx.

For more information about the 2016 Rio Paralympic Equestrian Events, please visit http://www.rio2016.com/en.

By: Lindsay Y. McCall

To view an online version of this press release with more photos, please visit: http://uspea.org/category/recent-uspea-press-news/.

About United States Para-Equestrian Association:

The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation board members, and equestrian enthusiasts. The association gives athletes the ability to get involved and expand their knowledge and experience in the Para-Equestrian sport. The USPEA encourages para-athletes to participate in all disciplines under the para-equestrian umbrella.

The USPEA is a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) which serves as the National Governing Body for the equestrian sport. This relationship between the USPEA and USEF is to encourage para-equestrian competitors, leisure riders, coaches, fans and enthusiasts to network and get involved with the entire equestrian sport.

Ultimately the goal of the USPEA is to foster growth in the para-equestrian discipline. From growth in the number of participants to growth as a team, and growth in the experience and knowledge of all involved. From local horse shows to international Olympic Games, the USPEA will provide para-equestrians the knowledge of what they need to succeed. The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), and USEF which provides Para-Equestrians the top equestrian resources.

In June 2010, the USPEA earned its 501 (c)(3) status which has encouraged supporters to help supply funding to the Para-Equestrian Team as a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.

USEF and USPEA Names Para-Equestrian Dressage Centers of Excellence

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and the United States Para-Equestrian Association (USPEA) are excited to announce the first USEF/USPEA International Para-Equestrian Dressage Centers of Excellence (COE). These regional hubs of excellence will attract new riders to the sport of para-equestrian dressage. Additionally, they will work in partnership with the USEF high performance programs to develop athletes to a level where they can represent the U.S. in international competition and at the Paralympic Games and ultimately win medals.

The USEF Selection Committee carefully scrutinized each application and upheld the highest standards when bestowing the prestigious COE title to the following facilities:

Carlisle Academy – Lyman, Maine
Contact:  Sarah Armentrout, sarmentrout@carlisleacademy.com

North Texas Equestrian Center (NTEC) – Wylie, Texas
Contact:  Kai Handt, kaihandt@yahoo.com

Pine Knoll Farm – Lexington, Ky.
Contact:  Gillian Vallis, pineknollfarm@aol.com

Ride On Therapeutic Riding Center – Chatsworth, Calif.
Contact: Megan McQueeney, jrsporthorses@gmail.com

Additional COE applicants are currently being evaluated and will be announced shortly.

COEs will play a vital role in attracting dressage trainers to the sport and helping them understand the aids and methods of training the disabled athletes in para-dressage.  The COEs will be the primary hosts of USEF para-dressage high performance programs and educational symposiums. In addition, COEs will aim to further develop their links with the therapeutic riding community, thus exposing interested athletes to competition opportunities.

Each COE is unique in the structure of their para-dressage programs and may offer opportunities independent of other COEs. The USEF/USPEA is committed to working with each COE to build plans that complement their individual strengths and opportunities.

For more information on the COE programs, please contact USEF Director of Para Equestrian, Laureen Johnson, at lkjohnson@usef.org or 908-326-1155.

The USPEA is the USEF’s Recognized Affiliate for all para-equestrian disciplines and exists to help develop, promote, and support athletes wishing to participate in the para-equestrian sport.  For more information on getting started with para-equestrian, please visit www.uspea.org or contact USPEA President, Hope Hand, at wheeler966@aol.com.

From the USEF Communications Department

USA Para-Dressage Riders Successful at Deauville CPEDI3* in France

Rebecca Hart and Schroeter’s Romani. Photo provided by Rebecca Hart.

Rebecca Hart and Schroeter’s Romani Top Grade II and Annie Peavy and Lancelot Warrior Score Well in Grade III

Deauville, France – April 12, 2016 – USA Para-Equestrian Dressage athletes Rebecca Hart and Annie Peavy had a successful weekend at the Deauville, France, CPEDI3*. The Deauville CPEDI*** (Concours Para-équestre de Dressage International) took place April 7-10, 2016 at the Pôle International du Cheval. Hart with Schroeter’s Romani, owned in conjunction with Margaret Duprey, Cherry Knoll Farm, Barbara Summer, and Bill and Sandy Kimmel, earned a second place in the Grade II FEI Team Test, a first place in the Individual Test on Saturday with a 71.371%, and a third place in the Freestyle on Sunday. Annie Peavy and Lancelot Warrior, owned by Rebecca Reno, competed in Grade III against 25 Para-Dressage athletes from around the world. The duo garnered a fifth place in the Team Test, a tenth in the Individual, and a fourth place ribbon in the Freestyle. Both Hart and Peavy flew over to Europe at the beginning of April for the opportunity to compete on the world stage against their European counterparts before the U.S. Paralympic Selection Trials in June and the 2016 Rio Paralympics. Each rider also knew how important it was for them to be evaluated by the FEI 5* ground jury in Deauville since those judges will also be in Rio in September. The Deauville ground jury included President Anne Prain (FRA), Sarah Leitch GBR, Marc Urban BEL, Marco Orsini GER, Technical Delagate Carlos Lopes (POR), Hanneke Gerritsen (NED), and Kiel Myhre (NOR).

Hart, a seven time USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Champion, two-time Paralympian (2008, 2012) and two-time World Equestrian Games athlete (2010, 2014), was excited to travel back to Europe for another opportunity to showcase Schroeter’s Romani’s talent and gain valuable feedback from the judging panel.

Hart noted, “It has been a wonderful experience getting to travel and compete with Annie. It’s been a great way to do the European circuit.  We are able to keep it light and fun, even when the pressure is on at a major CPEDI.  It makes the whole experience so much more enjoyable.  It’s the true meaning of work hard/play hard.  I am so happy to see the results that we have been achieving. Annie rocked it in an incredibly large and competitive Grade three class with top finishes, and I couldn’t have asked for a better result with Romani. She came in strong for this competition. She was super in the all three tests.  Winning the individual, which is the first time I have ever won an individual championship in Europe.  It was a great way to start the season and I hope to get to hear the national anthem again this year.”

Hart continued, “The freestyle was a great learning moment.  She felt fabulous throughout the performance.  We were in the mid-70s; we did our new freestyle with a full walk pirouette, which is an unusual element.  We had to add some variety and make it different.  We have used the choreography before, but it was discussed between the judges here and was deemed disallowed, which is a mandatory hit to the choreography score.  It dropped our score to a 71.3% for third, but I am still thrilled with the result.  We are re-working the choreography and it was great to learn this now, rather than at our nationals or if we make the team, in Rio.  It was a lovely event and I can’t thank the organizers enough for hosting us.”

Hart acknowledged, “I also have to thank my incredible team at Cherry Knoll Farm.  Margaret Duprey enabled me to come on this European trip and I think it was an invaluable experience.   Without her amazing support of not only me, but the whole sport of US Para-Dressage, I would not be able to do this.  I also want to thank Todd Flettrich for his wonderful tutelage and guidance through this entire year.  We have truly stepped up our game and he has helped me to build the confidence and partnership with Romani and it’s showing in the results.  I also have to thank my amazing grooms Hannah Hassinger and Fernando Ortega.  They keep Romani at her best at home and on the road. They put in long hard days and enable us to do our best when the pressure is on.  Also to my amazing owners and supporters who believed in Romani and me from the start and put us on the Road to Rio: Margaret Duprey, Bill and Sandy Kimmel, Barbara Summer, Brigitte Byrialsen, and Sycamore Station.  This is truly a team effort; without these amazing people we wouldn’t be here and sharing in these results.”

Annie Peavy and Lancelot Warrior. Photo (C) Lindsay Y. McCall
Annie Peavy and Lancelot Warrior. Photo (C) Lindsay Y. McCall

Annie Peavy, a 2014 World Equestrian Games individual, added, “Competing at this CPEDI gave me lots of confidence going into the selection trials. It was tough competition with 17 nations. Lance is a partner and I mean that in the truest sense, he brings out the best in me and I strive to bring out the best in him and not let him down.”

Peavy continued, “Becca Hart never ceases to impress me with her riding and approach to competition. She is focused and continues to up the game in America. I consider myself fortunate to call her a friend.

Peavy concluded, “I can’t thank Heather Blitz enough for coaching me through a wonderful weekend. I also have to thank my parents; I could not have done this without their endless support.”

Peavy along with her team and coach Heather Blitz will be staying in Europe to attend Waregem CPEDI3* April 21-24, before heading home for the Selection Trials.

Hart and coach Todd Flettrich will head back to the United States to prepare for the 2016 United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Paralympic Equestrian Team Selection Trials, Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships, and Open Para-Dressage National Show scheduled June 3-5, 2016 at Waterloo Hunt Club in Grass Lake, Michigan. The 2016 Rio Paralympic Equestrian Games are scheduled for September 11-16, 2016 at the Olympic Equestrian Centre in Deodoro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. For more information about the The Deauville CPEDI*** (Concours Para-équestre de Dressage International) or for results, please visit http://www.handiequicompet.fr/en/index.html.

By: Lindsay Y. McCall

To view an online version of this press release, please visit: http://uspea.org/category/recent-uspea-press-news/.

About United States Para-Equestrian Association:

The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation board members, and equestrian enthusiasts. The association gives athletes the ability to get involved and expand their knowledge and experience in the Para-Equestrian sport. The USPEA encourages para-athletes to participate in all disciplines under the para-equestrian umbrella.

The USPEA is a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) which serves as the National Governing Body for the equestrian sport. This relationship between the USPEA and USEF is to encourage para-equestrian competitors, leisure riders, coaches, fans and enthusiasts to network and get involved with the entire equestrian sport.

Ultimately the goal of the USPEA is to foster growth in the para-equestrian discipline. From growth in the number of participants to growth as a team, and growth in the experience and knowledge of all involved. From local horse shows to international Olympic Games, the USPEA will provide para-equestrians the knowledge of what they need to succeed. The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), and USEF which provides Para-Equestrians the top equestrian resources.

In June 2010, the USPEA earned its 501 (c)(3) status which has encouraged supporters to help supply funding to the Para-Equestrian Team as a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.

Para-Dressage Riders Kick Off $10,000 CPEDI3* Paralympic Qualifier in Wellington

Coach Wes Dunham jogs his horse Western Rose who is ridden by Sydney Collier (USA). Photo (C) Lindsay Y. McCall.

Wellington, FL- January 21, 2016 – Nineteen horse and rider combinations presented themselves on Thursday at the FEI Jog for the $10,000 CPEDI3* occurring January 22-24, 2016, at Week Two of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF). The $10,000 CPEDI3* is presented by Mission Control, Mane Stream, courtesy of Rowan O’Riley, Adequan®, and Nutrena. Para-Dressage riders from both Canada and the USA will step into The Stadium on Friday for their Team Test competition, followed by the Individual Test on Saturday, and the Freestyles on Sunday. Athletes in Grade Ia, Ib, II, III, and IV will be competing in front of FEI ground jury of Sarah Leitch (GBR), Marc Urban (BEL), and Dr Jan Holger Holtschmit (GER). This is the final part of the 2016 Para-Equestrian Dressage Tour and the last opportunity in the United States to qualify for the 2016 Paralympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. The USA dominated during the January 8-10 $10,000 CPEDI3* and a repeat performance would be crucial for the USA Team and individuals.

U.S. Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt noted, “It may be a little tougher than last week. Our riders just have to keep up the momentum. This is an important show for us. I see no problem in each rider cranking it up by three or four percent. Last time was the first time these athletes were all in the big arena and now they know what to do and what to expect. There should be no problem for each of them to perform well.”

United States Equestrian Federation Director of Sport Programs Will Connell said to the riders, “Your job is to go out there and be professional athletes – that is what you are. Go out and do your best.”

Para-Dressage competition begins at 10 AM in The Stadium at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival.

The Adequan® Global Dressage Festival is the world’s largest international and national dressage circuit featuring seven CDIs, including four CDI-Ws, one 4* and one 5*, the only non-championship CDIO Nations’ Cup in the Western Hemisphere, as well as weekly U.S. National events. The AGDF offers more than $650,000 in prize money for the seven international competitions, making it one of the richest circuits in the world. The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center facility includes the Van Kampen covered arena (made possible by Kimberly and Frederic Boyer and family) and four outdoor arenas with world-class footing, 200 permanent stalls, and a VIP seating area. For more information, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com. The AGDF takes place at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, from January 14 through April 2, 2016.

By: Lindsay Y. McCall

To view an online version of this press release with more photos, please visit: http://uspea.org/category/recent-uspea-press-news/.

About United States Para-Equestrian Association:

The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation board members, and equestrian enthusiasts. The association gives athletes the ability to get involved and expand their knowledge and experience in the Para-Equestrian sport. The USPEA encourages para-athletes to participate in all disciplines under the para-equestrian umbrella.

The USPEA is a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) which serves as the National Governing Body for the equestrian sport. This relationship between the USPEA and USEF is to encourage para-equestrian competitors, leisure riders, coaches, fans and enthusiasts to network and get involved with the entire equestrian sport.

Ultimately the goal of the USPEA is to foster growth in the para-equestrian discipline. From growth in the number of participants to growth as a team, and growth in the experience and knowledge of all involved. From local horse shows to international Olympic Games, the USPEA will provide para-equestrians the knowledge of what they need to succeed. The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), and USEF which provides Para-Equestrians the top equestrian resources.

In June 2010, the USPEA earned its 501 (c)(3) status which has encouraged supporters to help supply funding to the Para-Equestrian Team as a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.

USA Para-Dressage Riders Dominate at Paralympic Qualifier

Rebecca Hart and Romani. Photos (C) Lindsay Y. McCall.

Rebecca Hart Earns High Point Rider with Margaret McIntosh in Reserve

Wellington, FL – January 11, 2016 – The final day of competition at the $10,000 CPEDI3* in Wellington, Florida, took place on Sunday with the Para-Equestrian Dressage Freestyle Tests. Equestrians in Grade Ia, Ib, II, III, and IV completed a spectacular weekend at the first CPEDI3* of The 2016 Para Equestrian Dressage Tour. Riders from the USA and Canada competed in The Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, home of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), for the first time since being a part of the Global Dressage show. The $10,000 in prize money was also an exciting reward for top performing riders. The $10,000 CPEDI3* was presented by Mission Control, Mane Stream, courtesy of Rowan O’Riley, Adequan®, and Nutrena. After three days of intense competition Grade II Paralympian Rebecca Hart (USA) took home the High Point Rider Award with her mount Schroeter’s Romani. Following for Reserve Champion High Point Rider was Grade Ia equestrian Margaret McIntosh (USA) and her own Rio Rio. In Grade Ib Sydney Collier and Wes Dunham’s Western Rose took the overall percentage, while rider Annie Peavy and Lancelot Warrior dominated Grade III. Not only did the USA individuals have strong performances, but the USA Team riders achieved superior scores, aiming them for the 2016 Paralympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Led by Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt, the USA Team for the January 8-10 CPEDI3* included Grade II Paralympian Rebecca Hart from the United States and Schroeter’s Romani, owned by Rebecca Hart in conjunction with Margaret Duprey, Cherry Knoll Farm, Barbara Summer, and Bill and Sandy Kimmel; 2014 World Equestrian Games athlete Angela Peavy and Lancelot Warrior, owned by Rebecca Reno, in Grade III; Kate Shoemaker and Solitaer 40 in Grade III; and 2014 World Equestrian Games athlete Roxanne Trunnell and NTEC Royal Dancer. From the final day of freestyle scores and the leading percentages over the weekend, the FEI ground jury, including President Kristi Wysocki (USA), Carlos Lopes (POR), and Marco Orsini (GER), agreed that the USA riders are putting their best foot forward in the ring.

FEI President of the Ground Jury Kristi Wysocki agreed. “I got involved in this sport four years ago and it’s been really exciting for me to watch each of these riders grow up in age and in their riding. They earned their place in the ring this week. They proved themselves this weekend and that was exciting to see. It is a world class arena and a very daunting arena and they all came in and owned their eight minutes in there; that was exciting to see. With a couple weeks to work on precision, size, geometry, and lines of travel, some 7s could move up to 8s and some of those low 70s could be even higher.”

With the Rio Paralympics approaching it is important for the athletes to not only produce their best tests but to produce them in the same atmosphere that they will experience at a Games. U.S. Chef d’Equipe Kai Handt stated, “This was a great opportunity for the riders to finally show in the big arena because it preps the riders for future competitions at this type of venue. The only thing missing is the large number of spectators that we will experience when we walk into the arena at the Paralympics.”

In January 2014, Kai Handt became the U.S. Para-Dressage Chef d’Equipe. Prior to his new title Handt coached talented Para-Dressage athlete Jonathan Wentz from teenager to highest scoring U.S. Paralympic athlete. Handt has been a part of the Para-Dressage program for many years and has watched the program grow exponentially. He was proud of the Team and the individuals that showed at the $10,000 CPEDI3*. Handt commented, “The horses and riders did extremely well. They were a little bit nervous the first day but our scores improved each day and by freestyle time everyone did their very best. Now we just want to keep the momentum.”

Handt continued, “The USA changed a lot since spring of last year. We changed our qualifying procedures, our rules and much more to get where we are now – producing better and more competitive athletes. It’s really panning out now and we are hoping we kind of crest by the time we go to the Paralympics. If everyone does the same performance they did this week in two weeks, and work on the little details, I think we are on the right path to where we want to go. We currently moved up on the world ranking list and if we keep going I hope we are in the top three by the end. Everyone knows what their homework is and they are self-critical enough that they are going to push hard and get even better in two weeks.”

Grade II USA Team rider and High Point Rider Rebecca Hart will be doing just that this next week. Hart noted, “Romani has a great walk and that is one of her strong points. We are now riding without stirrups and that has been an adjustment but it’s going very well. For next week we are going to work on keeping the energy but not slipping in any canter work in our walk trot test. To have the progression from when I bought Romani from our very first show at Global to where we are now feels really good. We have come full circle. I couldn’t have done this without Todd Flettrich, Margaret Duprey of Cherry Knoll Farm, Barbara Summer, and Bill and Sandy Kimmel. I also want to thank Thomas Baur, Rebecca Reno of Mission Control, Rowan O’Riley of Mane Stream, and Global. Without these final two qualifying shows we would have been in a tight spot for the Paralympic Games. It was also a big honor to be able to ride in the limelight in the international ring. It’s a nice step forward for the whole sport of Para-Dressage.”

The support of sponsors like Mission Control and Mane Stream are helping to attract international Para-Dressage athletes to the United States. Rebecca Reno of Mission Control was happy to sponsor the CPEDI3* event. “If you asked me why I wanted to sponsor these events the easy answer would be to say that it’s because my daughter (Angela Peavy) rides, but that would not be the true reason,” laughed Reno. “Annie went as an individual to the World Equestrian Games in 2014 and while preparing for that I got to see the determination and desire from many other athletes that I see from my own daughter. When Equestrian Sport Productions allowed us to be a part of the Global Dressage Festival this year it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. We just want to provide the same experience you would have in Europe. Now riders can come to Florida and get that same experience here complete with prize money and additional shows in one place. You can come to Wellington and get more than one show and an international experience with world-class judges and a beautiful show facility. The athletes work hard, the horses work hard, and they all deserve to be rewarded for their efforts.”

Mane Stream’s representative, Rowan O’Riley of Mane Stream, a therapeutic and adaptive riding program in New Jersey for both children and adults, explained, “It’s important for Mane Stream to support Para-Dressage competitions because it’s an aspiration for all riders to see what hard work, skill, and quality training can produce in an international show arena.”

Margaret McIntosh and Rio Rio
Margaret McIntosh and Rio Rio

The top level competition venue provided Grade Ia, Margaret McIntosh and her horse Rio Rio, the framework for a paramount week. McIntosh was the Reserve High Point Rider overall. Macintosh noted, “Rio is typically a very relaxed horse both on the ground and in the show arena and I was really delighted today to have a little bit more zip going on. It’s a little unbelievable to be the high point rider this week. I had a really tough time at the National Championships a few months ago and my coach Missy Ransehousen, Jessica Ransehousen, with help from Clive Milkins created a powerhouse of knowledge and they picked us both up by the scruff of the neck and put us together and sent us out there.”

Teammates Roxanne Trunnell in Grade Ia, Kate Shoemaker in Grade III, and Annie Peavy also in Grade III agreed with the positive outcome from the unique venue over the weekend. Trunnell said, “I think it was good to be able to show like we were the big guys out there.” Shoemaker agreed, “I think it was a wonderful opportunity for our horses and significant in enabling us to get the experience we need so when we go to international competitions in Europe or the Paralympic Games, our horses are more prepared and as riders we are more prepared because we know better how our horses will react. I was really happy how my horses handled the trip and the environment here. They came 2700 miles from Idaho on Wednesday, got here, rode once, and went in the arena and showed. That’s how you go to big shows. That’s what you have to do and I was extraordinarily pleased with how he did.”

Annie Peavy concurred: “It’s always a great experience when you feel like you’re on a more even level with able-bodied riders. It felt like a European CPEDI. Competing in an environment like this always helps to conquer show nerves so you are ready when you go to competitions like this in Europe, WEG, or the Paralympic Games. It helps you to feel more confident.”

Although she wasn’t a team member during this CPEDI3*, Collier navigated two horses to superb scores in Grade Ib. Collier took home the overall in Grade Ib with Wes Dunham’s Western Rose. Collier was a member of the 2014 WEG team and is preparing three horses this year as her potential Paralympic partner.

Riders will have another chance to get the valuable feedback from FEI judges and their necessary qualification scores for Rio. The second Para-Dressage Tour $10,000 CPEDI3* is scheduled for January 21-24, 2016 in the Van Kampen Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

The Adequan® Global Dressage Festival is the world’s largest international and national dressage circuit featuring seven CDIs, including four CDI-Ws, one 4* and one 5*, the only non-championship CDIO Nations’ Cup in the Western Hemisphere, as well as weekly U.S. National events. The AGDF offers more than $650,000 in prize money for the seven international competitions, making it one of the richest circuits in the world. The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center facility includes the Van Kampen covered arena (made possible by Kimberly and Frederic Boyer and family) and four outdoor arenas with world-class footing, 200 permanent stalls, and a VIP seating area. For more information, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

By: Lindsay Y. McCall

To view an online version of this press release with more photos, please visit: http://uspea.org/category/recent-uspea-press-news/.

About United States Para-Equestrian Association:

The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation board members, and equestrian enthusiasts. The association gives athletes the ability to get involved and expand their knowledge and experience in the Para-Equestrian sport. The USPEA encourages para-athletes to participate in all disciplines under the para-equestrian umbrella.

The USPEA is a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) which serves as the National Governing Body for the equestrian sport. This relationship between the USPEA and USEF is to encourage para-equestrian competitors, leisure riders, coaches, fans and enthusiasts to network and get involved with the entire equestrian sport.

Ultimately the goal of the USPEA is to foster growth in the para-equestrian discipline. From growth in the number of participants to growth as a team, and growth in the experience and knowledge of all involved. From local horse shows to international Olympic Games, the USPEA will provide para-equestrians the knowledge of what they need to succeed. The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), and USEF which provides Para-Equestrians the top equestrian resources.

In June 2010, the USPEA earned its 501 (c)(3) status which has encouraged supporters to help supply funding to the Para-Equestrian Team as a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: hope@uspea.org or by phone: (610)356-6481.